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Barbarossa is well planned & executed, much like the sickle cut was.

Discussion in 'What If - European Theater - Eastern Front & Balka' started by mjölnir, Feb 25, 2016.

  1. mjölnir

    mjölnir New Member

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    OTL
    Despite having many of the best strategists and tactiticians in German history and having seen them in action most successfully in France, Hitler did not use Manstein, Kleist, Guderian, Rommel, etc, to plan Barbarossa. Instead he used the burocrat Von Paulus and himself to plan the most important offensive of the war.
    Accordingly, the incompetent planners ignored many of the concepts of Blitzkrieg: Instead of attacking with overwhelming force and with heavy armor, cannon, truck and plane concentration over a narrow front, where the enemy is weaker and least expects an attack (in this case along the Baltic and Black Sea coasts, where a flank of the thrust is covered by the sea and supplies by sea are much easier than though RR and road in partisan infested areas), Barbarossa spread the few German planes, tanks, cannon, trucks, etc, available thinly along a huge front and attacked the strongest fortified areas: Kiev, Smolensk, Sevastopol, etc,

    Instead of the tanks advancing rapidly and converging on Moscow, Hitler changed the plan, so that tanks, which were posied to take Moscow from Smolensk in good weather were diverted long distances either to Kiev (Guderian) or to Leningrad (Hoth). The waste of good weather and invaluable Panzer fighting time, the tanks lost fighting far from Moscow and the wear caused by the long detours was catastrophic.

    Instead of using Romanian troops wisely to support a German thust along the Black Sea coast, Hitler sent Kleist first to Kiev, then to Nikolaev (all the way to the Black Sea, then back to Kiev, while the Romanians sustained heavy casualties & wasted 2 invaluable months of good weather just to take Odessa.

    Most incredibly, despite heavy German tank losses (Kleist lost 200 of his 800 tanks in the 1st week, during a colossal battle in whihc his force, which was much weaker than Guderian's or Hoth's, faced more T-34 & KV-1 than nay other force), Hitler ordered that all new tanks & spared produced from july remain in Germany until the end of Barbarossa. Therefore, of the 1890 German tanks produced between July 1 & Dec 31, 1941, only about 1/3 reached the eastern front and only after the good weather had passed. Hundreds of tanks were disabled or cannibalized for lack of spares after Hitler's long detours. (see Tank warfare in the eastern front 1941-1942: Schwerpunkt by Robert Forczyk page 112).

    Proper planning:
    Hitler puts Manstein and Guderian in charge of planning Barbarossa.
    They immediately identify the fact that they can perfom the largest encirclement in history if almost all the planes, armor & trucks are concentrated in two swaths 1) along the Baltic Sea and Finnish border and 2) along the Black Sea, which rapidly capture Leningrad and Murmansk and Odessa & Kharkov respectively and then converge in Moscow. The heavy plane concentration allows rapid destruction of warships, planes & armor in tehse areas, enabling German supplies to arrive in Leningrad, Nikolaev, etc, enabling the advance on Moscow.

    The bulk of the axis infantry in the west will defend the long USSR border with Romania & Germany.

    The rapid capture of Kharkov & Leningrad will deprive the USSR of tanks produced in these cities. The capture of Murmansk will deprive the USSR from its only winter port. Finally, the fall of Moscow and teh closing of the huge pocket prevents tanks from Tamkograd, Stalingrad, etc, steel from Magnitograd, etc, troops, tanks from the east, etc, from reaching the bulk of the red army & it prevents evacuation of the industry in the Ukraine to the Urals.

    The short time it will take to attack Moscow denies the enemy time to prepare defenses & redeploy forces. Moscow is the trasnportation and communications center of the USSR, so its loss or even surrounding it will paralyze the red army.

    The red army will have to attack far from its fortified areas and with its lousy logistics and tactics and under German control of the air, so it will suffer extremely heavy losses.

    By the time the roads become a sea of mud, the red army will be encircled, deprived of supplies & reinforcements, most of the Soviet trains & trucks in the pocket will have been destroyed & Germany will be in excellent position to defend the enciclement swath from the red army advancing through mud. Moreover, the medium and heavy tank factories captured in Leningrad and Kharkov may be already in production, using steel, etc, transported by sea.
     
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  2. Slipdigit

    Slipdigit Good Ol' Boy Staff Member WW2|ORG Editor

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    Okay, boys, we approved this one for discussion. Have at it.
     
  3. mjölnir

    mjölnir New Member

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    I am assuming that Hitler lets Manstein take full charge of planning and execution and that the latter rushes all new tanks and spares to the front, so that damaged or lost Pz III and IV are replaced and experienced crews can trade up their PZ I and II for 38 (t) and Pz III and IV, with which they are much more likely to survive and more useful.

    Since much of German aviation, armor and trucks are concentrated along the coasts and the Finnish-Soviet border, where Soviet armor is weak, German armor losses are much lower and the arrival of new, better tanks boosts it considerably.
     
  4. LJAd

    LJAd Well-Known Member

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    1)Talking about von Paulus is not indicating one has even a basic knowledge of the subject

    2) There was no reason at all to involve Guderian, Manstein or an insignificant person as Rommel in the planning


    3)To propose an attack on a narrow front is indicating that one's knowledge of logistics is inexistent :eek:ne of the reasons why AG C had 2 PzG and AGN and AGS only one is that it was easier to supply mobile units on the axe Berlin/Warsaw/ Minsk/Smolensk than through the Baltic States ,starting from East Prussia (as in 1914 East Prussian logistics meant problems) or to send the mobile units to Romania .

    4) An other strategy would not help the Germans: German victory was depending on what the Soviets would do : if they did what the Germans hoped,victory was possible .If not, it was not possible .

    5) The Soviet forces were spread from the north to the south,mainly east of the DD line .As the Germans could not go east of the DD line to destroy them,it was imperative that the Soviets would go t the border where the Germans could destroy them .

    6)Advancing in the north and the south only would result in a disaster .

    7) It is also more than dubious that more Pz III and IV would be more useful .

    8 ) The claim that Kleist lost 200 tanks in one weak and that this was caused by t34 and KV1 is very dubious :German tank losses for the whole front ,and for all causes (tanks lost by enemy tanks were a minority) were 580 on 31 july .


    Conclusion : it is one thing to imagine an other strategy,hoping that this would result in German victory, but such an alternative strategy should be based on reality, not on quick-sand and wishful-thinking .


    I like to add that in the OTL the Germans committed 140/150 divisions (sources are differing) and failed . Now we have a ATL proposal : the Germans would use only the mobile divisions (17 Pz and 12 motorized):why would 29 divisions succeed when 140/150 failed ?
     
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  5. mjölnir

    mjölnir New Member

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    There is much more reason to include those involved in the most successful offensive in German history in the planning and execution of Germany's largest and most complicated gamble than letting Hitler and Paulus (who had never commanded troops in battle nor planned a brilliant offensive) do the planning.

    Insignificant Rommel had learnt to wage Blitzkreg in a surprisingly short time (in contrast Paulus, Hitler, Rundstedt, etc, never did) and become a very successful commander in France, performing record advances with minimal losses, which surprised not only his enemies, but also his superiors.

    Every successful, true Blitkrieg operation took place on a narrow and extremely exposed front (sickle cut, Guderian's, Hoth's and Manstein's advances in Barbarossa, even Rommei advance in Libya, which was exposed to the RN and RAF over extremely long supply lines). In contrast wide front German offensives stalled and failed both in WW I and II. Even the initially very successful spring offensive in WW I took place along a narrow front. Genghis Khan's offensives (the best in history) took place along very narrow fronts.
    Moreover, while the sickle cut, Guderians, Hoth's, Hoppner's and Kleist's advances in Barbarossa took place with completely exposed flanks and ´with German planes and armor thinly spread in 4 large and a small armored corps (in Murmansk), in the initial stages of this offensive there are only 3 armored corps (Baltic, Black Sea & Finland) and all have only an exposed flank, are stronger & face a lot fewer tanks than charging toward Kiev, Bryansk, Smolensk, etc,).
    Incredibly, despite Nikolaev being extremely close to Romania, instead of attacking it from Romania, Hitler ordered Kleist to advance all the way from Keiv to Nikolaev and back, while the poorly equiped Romanian lost the equivalent of 2 divisions and months taking Odessa (while the Soviets rushed reinforcements by sea from Crimea). The result was loss of men & invaluable time and heavy wear of tanks with little advance.
    Under Manstein the tanks start in Romania, rapidly capture Odessa, Nikolaev and Mariupol with few losses and little wear and advance to Kharkov (only then exposed on both flanks, but with much better supplies than the OTL adavnce on Kharkov, because in thsi case ports are available.
    OTL kleist lost 200 of his 800 tanks on the first week in a huge battle. In this case Kleist and Hoth advance together from Romania, with their combined air support units along the Black sea coast (only an exposed flank), where there are a lot fewer tanks, so they smash through with limited losses and arrive in Mariupol in a week.
    OTL the Germans advanced toward fortifications and masses of Soviet cannon, tanks and men. In this scenario the Germans are bypassing the bulk of Soviet forces and the Soviets have to move their cannon, tanks fand men rom fortified to the coasts and under heavy air attack. Given the fact that the Soviet incurred heavy losses to malfunction and lack of fuel, even moving short distances in Grdno, etc, very few Soviet tanks will make it ot the flanks under heavy air attack and only after the bulk of German tanks has bypassed them and advanced deep into the USSR. It makes a lot more sense for a string German amor column to bypass Soviet armor than to have Kleit's weak force to collide against it (including T-34 and KV-1).

    The same happens in the Baltic. Guderian's and Höppner's tanks smash through weak forces with minimal losses, while a column from Finland attacks Leningrad. There is no need to break through the Stalin line over a wide front, wasting time, munitions and men far from Moscow, Leningrad, Murmansk and Kharkov.

    Hitler wasted his forces and good weather striving to capture millions of prisoners, whom he could not feed, and whom the Soviets could easily replace. Manstein concentrates on rapidly capturing 4 crucial cities and isolating those men into a huge prison camp (which he does not have to feed) and forcing them to execute poorly conceived and lead counter attacks.

    OTL the mobile divisions were spread over an extremely long front, collided against fortified positions and massed Soviet forces. and were detoured all over the place. In this plan they are concentrated (one of the principles of Blitzkrieg) and converge in Moscow. OTL they were bled and attained none of their goals. Actually, instead of the bulk of the infantry divisions helping them, they held them back and induced Hitler to order the fatal detours to assist the infantry in capturing troops (the worst possible used for mobile units). In this case the bulk of the nonmotorized divisions is dealing is defending against Soviet attacks along the border and destroying lots of tanks (like they did in Grodno, although they were in newly occupied positions), Generals like Heinrici, Model, etc, destroyed entire Soviet armies attacking them in precarious positions.

    OTL the poorly equipped Romanians fought well, but suffered heavy losses. OTL the Finns fought better than the Gemrans in the extreme north, but the axis did not attain it goal of capturing Murmansk and the railroad for lack of men, planes & armor. In this scenario these allies are much more useful. The Romanians live longer and are much more useful than taking Odessa or Sevastopol, the latter only with sporadic air and armor support and against naval guns (which are promptly sunk with heavy LW in the area).
     
  6. Kai-Petri

    Kai-Petri Kenraali

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    There were many problems like underestimating the enemy, sending own troops to civil life, cutting down production figures etc. However von Bock in his memoirs says that after Smolensk there was no plan where to go, no goal to direct the forces at. Hitler was so convinced the rotten roof would collapse.
     
  7. green slime

    green slime Member

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    So this is your excellent plan? With "the bulk" of the German infantry staying at home? I must say your idea is at least radical. Horribly flawed. But radical, at least.

    The Soviets do not modify their reactions, of course.

    I guess when the Soviets utterly destroy the mechanised units attempting to operate well beyond defended lines of supply, hundreds of kilometers from the nearest supply depot, there is a back-up fleet of Nazi anti-gravity propelled space ships shuttling in fresh Panthers crewed by cloned super-warriors from the overstocked moon base?

    Somehow, I don't think the successes of Poland, France, Norway, Greece, etc can be attributed to the infantry staying at home.

    Of course, if you elect to have them tag along instead, you are looking at vastly increasing the road and railroad congestion along your fewer axis of advance.
     
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  8. mjölnir

    mjölnir New Member

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    Green Slime
    Apparently you didn't read the part where the Soviet fleets are promptly obliterated by the air support concentrated in those areas and shipping being used to supply the offensives. It is much easier to supply Guderian advancing along the Baltic and then toward Moscow (from Tallin, Leningrad, etc,). Likewise, it is much easier to supply Kleist advancing from Nikolaev and Mariupol to Kharkov, than all the way from Poland, through partisan infested areas.

    It is hard to believe that the supposedly modern WM forced hundreds of thousands of men to march in many cases over 1,000 km, instead of using ships and ports. So that the bulk of the infantry (including the Spanish blue division, which marched toLeningrad, the Italian mountain troops, which marched to the Don, etc,) and 625,000 horses clogged the roads advancing a few km per day and wasting prodigious amounts of food, the scarce decent weather and most importantly combat strength.
    In this plan once the ports are captured and the Soviet navy is wiped out, supplies and infantry can be moved much more efficiently and rapidly. Most of the horses are used to defend the central front and the trucks are used to supply & reinforce the rapid advance in swaths that include RR lines.

    Regarding the Soviets wiping out the forces advancing from Leningrad to Moscow and from the Black Sea to Kharkos and then Moscow, you seem to have forgottent that even massive forces in Brody (including a lot of T-34 and KV-1) were defeated by Kleist's small force of 800 tanks coming to meet them, so a stronger force advancing to Kharkov with better air support will require a redeployment of tanks and we know that thousands of tanks were lost to malfunction, lack of fuel and air attack during redeployment in Barbarossa. Given the fact that the KV-1 is very slow, it makes a lot of sense to bypass it and make it chase faster tanks, than to advance towards it.
     
  9. green slime

    green slime Member

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    LOL; the Soviet Black Sea fleet was bombed, the Baltic fleet was bottled up in Leningrad; but the Soviet subs and mines were sinking the Axis ships. You can't give the Axis powers more ships than they had, more ship building capacity than they had. More port facilities than they had.

    The Battle of Brody is highly misleading, coming as it did already in the first confusing week of war. There was a whole series of Soviet mistakes committed prior to and during that battle. Many 100's of Soviet tanks were destroyed by their own crews... If you expect that to be typical of all the battles until Moscow, you'd better have a rethink.

    How are the 29 mechanised divisions going to have better air support with little to no infantry to protect the airfields?!? With the "bulk" of the infantry at home? Those ports are a damn long way from Moscow.

    Soviet tanks do not need to chase German tanks. Tanks interrupt supply and communication. Without infantry support, and secure lines of supply, those 29 mechanised divisions are not going very far.

    I'm not quite understanding how the arrival of Kleist's panzers aides the capture of Odessa and Sevastopol and other port cities.
     
  10. mjölnir

    mjölnir New Member

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    OTL The LW was concentrated supporting Guderian & Hoth, with a smaller force for Kleist, an even smaller one for Höppner and a still smaller one supporting Silberfuchs. Accordingy, it missed the opportunity to wipe out the fleets, which were poorly prepared for an attack. In this scenario there are no tanks in the center, most of the planes are concentrated on the flanks, so the fleets in Murmansk and in the Baltic and Black Seas are wiped out. Including the submarines. 3 Pearl Harbors

    The surviving warships shelled axis forces on their way to Murmansk (aided by the RN, which would have stayed away with more German planes and ships in the area, until murmansk falls), transported troops from Crimea to Odessa then back to Crimea, shelled axis forces attacking Odessa and Sevastopol, shelled axis forces attacking Leningrad & the submarines damaged a few axis ships, so wiping them out at the beginning of the campaign makes a lot of sense, especially since this allows shipping to arrive deep into the USSR.

    Grodno, the Belorussia and Baltic battles, etc, were even worse than Brody (where the highest percentage of German tanks were lost on the first weeks, because Kleist encountered the highest concentration of T-34 and KV-1 and he had much weaker forces than Guderian or Hoth). In Grodno a higher percentage of Soviet tanks were destroyed or abandoned by their crews than in Brody and those who survived and expected to attack German tanks there found only inftantry, but were wiped out. It seems that you're the one bestowing absent powers on the Soviets in the initial weeks of Barbarossa (they could not stop the Germans anywhere, despite massive Soviet equipment and troops losses), much less if they were attacked where they are weak, as in this plan)
    Perhaps you can explain to me why if thousands of T-26 and BT-7 near the border ran on petrol, why did the Soviets have 100,000 tons of Diesel, which the Germans captured and absurdly burnt) and little petrol. The fact is that the rapidly advancing Germans had better logistics than the resource rish Soviets, despite shrinking supply lines.

    Just consider the fact that Germany deployed only 3,600 tanks over a huge front, most of which were light tanks, including extremely vulnerable PZ I (with only machine guns and extremely thin armor, vulnerable even to the Soviet 13 mm machine gun and 20 mm cannon)) and II (with only 20 mm cannon and extremely thin armor, vulnerable to the same guns) and 38 (t) (37 mm cannon and brittle 25 mm armor), while the Soviets had over 10,000 tanks (including about 1,400 T-34-KV-1) waiting for them, yet the Soviets lots several times more tanks than the Germans. Similarly, Germany deployed initially only 7,200 cannon and many of these were hauled by horses so they spent most of the time falling behind the rapidly advancing front), in contrast the Soviets had over 60,000 guns waiting for them.
    The Soviets did not even use tank mines intensively and competentently (as they did in Kursk, after the German's had taught them a few things).
     
  11. green slime

    green slime Member

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    Once again, your exaggerations and misrepresentations do nothing to convince. Even a casual reading of the events you refer to reveal your flawed thinking. Soviet preparations for war were far from sufficient. No one is denying that. Almost anything attempted in the first weeks is going to succeed. But you can't bomb Murmansk sufficiently in the first week to destroy the entire Arctic Fleet, nor the Baltic Fleet, nor the Black Sea fleet in Sevastopol, especially simultaneously. The distance between Kirkenes and Murmansk is almost twice the distance from Calais to London. You think the Axis powers didn't try to sink these ships? You have to gain or construct airfields close enough to reach these ports, move the aircrews and the maintenance staff, keep them supplied, and protect the airfields. The only important port you can reach on day one is Leningrad, and that from bases in Finland. IF the Finns allow you to.

    Overall, in your plan you are driving vehicles much further, with less infantry support, on a shorter timetable, handwaving logistical problems of truly catastrophic proportions and pretending your opponent has no counter moves.

    In order to convince, you are going to have to do a lot more work presenting exactly where you place your forces in detail, and provide proper plans for supply and a timetable, otherwise you are just handwaving again. You have yet to show that greater concentration of forces on the flanks is going to allow the Germans to advance faster than they did historically. There are basic physical, logistical limitations, regardless of Soviet opposition.

    It took 6 months for the Germans to fight their way to Moscow by the direct route, the prong to take Leningrad failed, as did the historic effort in the Arctic North. Taking an indirect route, you don't think would allow the more than ample time for the Soviets to shore up their defences along the flanks?

    The entire plan for Operation Barbarossa, and the intended collapse of the Soviet Union hinged on the defeat of the Red Army. The Germans needed to destroy the cauldrons of Soviet troops, in order to have any hope of success. Your plan is to avoid the Red Army and race to Moscow, via Leningrad and Rostov(?). Instantaneously appearing wherever you need to be, and auto-destroying any inconvenient (and incompetent) Soviet opposition (invoking references to early battles), even in places that historically proved to be very tough indeed (Sevastopol). Your lines of supply are constantly overflowing with men and material, all supplied by unsinkable ships.

    I'm still left wondering how your tank divisions are going to take all these Soviet coastal cities with little infantry and remain mobile.
     
  12. mjölnir

    mjölnir New Member

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    The axis had a ridiculous total of 150 planes and French tanks for Silberfuchs (not enough planes to support an offensive against a fortified port, let alone sink the fleet) and the LW certainly did not try a surprise attack either on the Black Sea or the Baltic fleet on the opening day. As I said, the bulk of the LW was covering the center (Belorussia), with small air fleets on the flanks (just like the tanks). The Germans had almost no planes or tanks attacking the Black Sea, Kleist's forces (the southern German flank) were advancing toward Brody and then Kiev in the north Ukraine, very far from the Romanian forces heading for Odessa without substantial armor or plane support.

    At the time of Barbarossa German twin engine bombers had been sinking warships in Ireland and in the Arctic & Atlantic, far from their bases, so the distance to Murmansk is nothing for them. Capturing Murmansk would preclude allied convoys, so that as soon as Murmansk falls, most of the planes can fly south to support Barbarossa.

    The only problem the Germans had supplying Silberfuchs was the Soviet fleet and the RN sinking the supply ship, which certainly does not happen in this case.
    It is rather strange that you think that it is easier to supply the OTL advances 1) from Poland to Kiev and then all the way south o Nikolaev and back to Lokhvitsa crossing the Dnieper, 2) from Poland to Minsk to Smolensk to Lokhvitsa in areas occupied by forces spread thin (the infantry lagging weaks behind the armor), 3) from Poland and East Prussia to Leningrad and 4) an attack on Murmansk with the Soviets and RN controlling the Arctic, than it is to supply 1) and attack on Murmansk with a stronger force and control of the Arctic, along the Baltic with a stronger force and controlling the ports after destroying the Soviet fleet, 2) from Finland to Leningrad, Tikhvin, Moscowetc, and 3) from Romania to Odessa, Nikolaev, Mariupol, Kharkov, etc, controlling the ports in the Black Sea.

    Measure the distance Poland-Brody-Kiev-Nikolaev-Lokhvitsa-Black Sea (Kleist's OTL route, facing a sea of tanks during the first week, including medium and heavy tanks) and You'll see the difficulty of supplying him. Then compare it to the distance Romania-Odessa-Nikolaev-Mariupol-Kharkov (with a flank covered all the way to Mariupol & facing a lot fewer tanks, especially medium and heavy tanks) and with supplies both by land and by sea from Costanza. Sinking the Black Sea fleet also ensures Turkish chromium ore ships not being sunk on their way to Bulgaria or Romania. Destroying pllnaes in the southern Ukraine and the Black Sea prevents bombing of Ploesti.

    Measure the distance Poland-Minsk-Smolensk-Lokhvitsa-Smolensk-Tula (Guderian's route with a much heavier force than Kleist's) and compare it to advancing from east Prussia and north Poland to Lithuania-Latvia-Estonia-Leningrad or Finland-Leningrad-Moscow. and you can get an idea of the hell it was supplying it.

    Measure the distance from Poland-Minsk-Smolensk-Leningrad-Smolensk (Hoth's route, also with a much heavier force than Kleist's) and compare it to the above.
     
  13. green slime

    green slime Member

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    I suggest you read about the difficulties Operation Silver Fox had getting supplies across the landscape, harried as they were by both Air and artillery.

    "German failure can be attributed to a number of factors: the terrain, which hindered the advance, and led to an over-dependence on roads for mobility; second, a lack of proper intelligence preparation which led to faulty assumptions; third, a long and tenuous line of communication; fourth, supply problems caused by bad roads and British-Soviet attacks on German shipping; and finally, determined resistance from the Soviets, which made the necessary breakthrough impossible, and the stagnation of the front inevitable."
    -wikipedia

    The Jaeger divisions used were reduced in effective strength as large numbers of troops were used to haul mules. Why would they need to be doing that? Why do you suppose they only had 150 aircraft?

    The LW Didn't attack all the ports on the first day,1) because they couldn't. They did not have enough bombers with effective range, to do all what you want them to. 2) They were primarily a tactical airforce, and trained as such 3) because they were busy trying to destroy as much of the Soviet airpower they could, which they did. You want to forgo destroying Soviet air power, in order to attempt to crush fleets? Fleets that were historically, rather marginal? For a continent-scale land battle? I suppose you have somehow miraculously already dealt with the RN as well...

    There were limited numbers of aircraft with the ranges you are discussing, and definitely not enough of them to simultaneously destroy all Soviet fleets in all European ports. To think they they could do so is fanciful in the extreme. List which bombers you are assigning where, and when, where they are based. You can't do everything simultaneously.

    Those distances you list; you somehow imagine that there would be no threats to your flanks that would require your armour to turn around and double back to protect your extremely thin cordon of supply and communication (as they had to do historically).With the force disposition you imply, you would face after a few weeks very different Soviet force dispositions, and serious threats to your flanks

    And you still fail to explain how tanks are going to capture port cities.

    You continue to gloss over grave issues. Yes, historically the Soviet's failures are unprecedented for the first weeks due to criminal lack of preparation, then they started to recover. Your plan does not defeat the USSR. Just as Hitler you have no alternative, no plan B; "what to do if the Soviets don't collapse?" You are counting on all resistance ceasing on the extremely unlikely event that you succeed in taking Moscow. While the "bulk" of your infantry sits at home. (how many divisions is a "bulk"?)
     
  14. lwd

    lwd Ace

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    The problem wasn't so much with the planning and execution but with the intel and reacting to the changing situation. The initial German effort was quite successful. When the USSR didn't fall apart as projected and continued to field massive forces and the Wehrmact found itself in a stressful logistical position a reevaluation was necessary (although the alternative should have been considered ahead of time as well). There was some reevaluation but it seams not to have been well based on fact and logic.
     
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  15. mjölnir

    mjölnir New Member

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    You're going to have lo pay more attention and think more before you post if you want to continue arguing.
    the Soviets had no problem bombing Ploesti from Crimea, The LW had no problem bombing Moscow for 6 hours on July 21, 1941 (after they had lost many planes & against formidable AAA), The LW had no problem sinking ships far from base in Norway even in 1940 (before they started using drop tanks routinely) or bombing Ireland in 1941, yet you insist that it is impossible for the LW to bomb Leningrad, Kronstadt, Tallin, etc, from Finland, East Prussia & Poland. to bomb the Black Sea fleet from SE Romania & to bomb Murmansk from Kirkenes and from rapidly captured Petsamo and with a strong force advancing in the area from the first captured airfields near Murmansk.

    The main problems in Silberfuchs were that it was poorly planned (just like Barbarossa), that it had an extremely small and ill equipped force, that German shipping was sunk, so there were meager supplies and that the weak force attacking the RR failed, so the Soviets were allowed to reinforce rapidly the area. In contrast, in Norway a few paratroopers delayed RR transport enough to thwart the allied attack. Given the short distance to Finland, paratroopers could have blocked the RR and been promptly relieved by a strong force. Instead, the weak force sent to capture the RR failed miserably.

    The Germans had few planes, deficient and few tanks and insufficient halftracks, STUG, troops, etc, and practically no naval support and poor intelligence because everything was concentrated in the west USSR and specially in army groups center and south. The worst possible area, since it was replete with heavily equipped Soviets.

    I already wrote that 150 planes is completely inadequate to attack a fortified port, much less attack shipping simultaneously.

    Regarding road dependance, Guderian and Hoth had to rely on a single road in thick forest to supply their advance to Minsk and then to Smolensk, involving an infinitely larger force and against tough opposition, but they had heavy air support and plenty of vehicles.
     
  16. lwd

    lwd Ace

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    Looks to me like straw men are proliferating although it could be more of a case of lack of comprehension about what was actually written.
     
  17. green slime

    green slime Member

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    Agreed. Reading Comprehension seems seriously lacking, especially in that last response of his. No point trying to get the Ostrich's head out of the sand if he doesn't want to.
     
  18. mjölnir

    mjölnir New Member

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    The air distance from Kirkenes to Murmansk (which you found daunting) is a mere 147 km, from Petsamo (Pechenga, captured at the beginning of Silberfuchs) only 97 km. Eastern Romania-Sevastol is under 350 km, Klaipeda-Riga is only 229 km. Sevastopol-Bucharest is 586 km (flown by the Soviets repeatedly) . You can look up the distance flown already in April 1940 by He 111 and JU 88 to sink warships in Narvik, etc, and in 1941 to bombs warships, etc, in Belfast, etc,

    Look at a map to see how far Finland is from Leningrad, Kronstadt, Tallin, Oranienburg & Leningrad. East Romania from Odessa and Nikolaev.

    You're right, I am wasting my time with an Austrich..
     
  19. KJ Jr

    KJ Jr Well-Known Member

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    Well that was a fun read, lol.
     
  20. green slime

    green slime Member

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    Where was KG 26 and KG 40 based during these attacks....
    During the rapid 6 hour German invasion of Denmark (1940) the unit KG 26. moved to Aalborg Airport, Denmark on 12 April 1940. It relocated during the Norwegian Campaign to Stavanger, then Trondheim as the Wehrmacht progressed northward.

    II./KG 26 carried out anti-shipping operations between Britain and Norway, January – August 1940. During the campaign in Norway the Gruppe made several attacks on Allied Destroyers, Cruisers and transports without success. On 18 April 1940 HMS Warspite was damaged slightly by II./KG 26.

    II./KG 30 operated under X. Fliegerkorps for Operation Weserübung, the invasion of Norway. The unit Ju 88s engaged Allied shipping as its main target. On 9 April 1940, in cooperation with high-level bombing Heinkel He 111s of KG 26, Ju 88s of II./KG 30 dive-bombed and damaged the battleship HMS Rodney and sank the destroyer HMS Gurkha. The unit lost four Ju 88s in the action, the highest single loss of KG 30 throughout the campaign. <= Action took place nowhere near Narvik....

    The HMS Gurkha, sunk at 59° 13'N, 4° 00'E? (Well, approx 1500 km South South East of Narvik) Or what other sinkings by LW of RN ships occured during the Norwegian campaign?

    Saying that someone did something occasionally, is not the same as being able to do it repeatedly, over time, for proper effect, which you have to do to in order to truly ensure that you've sunk a hundred Naval ships and submarines all around Europe, in very short order. Especially when you have not dealt with the opposing airforce.

    Like I said; put together a proper plan, and stop handwaving. Handwaving is when you assume all these little details fall into place, because someone, somewhere, achieved something on a minor scale. Comparing the occasional pointless bombing of Dublin, or random attack on a sole merchantman to actually making a concerted effort at destroying three entire fleets over the course of two or three days is juvenile.

    You say it's possible. Prove it. List aircraft, airfields, supplies, & timing. Put together a moderate, reasonable expectation on the success rate, based on available resources. Don't just handwave that every ship is auto-sunk purely because the LW sunk a ship somewhere sometime along the Norwegian coast. What was the success rate per sortie? Was the sortie contested by opposing air? How much aircraft did they lose, so you can extrapolate an expected survival rate, and see how sustainable the attacks are. See how many sorties are needed to achieve a reasonable result. Give yourself a reasonable turn around time, to continue to press the attack(s). Allow your opponent a reasonable response; don't bank on total Soviet incompetence and sheer luck. Doing so is only possible due to the benefit of hindsight, and therefore nullifies your proposition entirely.

    And then you can explain how panzers are going to invade and capture port cities.
     

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